Heir to Vestey fortune cleared of orchestrating riot in the City
Saturday 15 April 2000
The heir to the Vestey butchery fortune, who was accused of orchestrating the Stop the City demonstration last June, was cleared yesterday.
Mark Brown, 36, smiled as City of London magistrates found him not guilty of failing to give police notice of a public procession. Mr Brown had denied the charge, an offence under the Public Order Act of 1986, which carries a maximum fine of £1,000.
The demonstration led to riots that caused £2m of damage. More than 100 people including 45 police officers were injured. Mr Brown accepted that he had "networked a day of international action" and been responsible for "the production of information and propaganda in the run up to the event" of the 18 June anti-capitalist demonstration butAnthony Jennings, in his defence, said he had not organised the whole event.
Mr Jennings had earlier told the court: "You will be mindful of any concern that he's been scapegoated for what happened on that day. There must be a temptation that someone should be brought to book for what happened. It would be wholly wrong for the standard of proof to be diluted, even if that were a subconscious view."
Mr Brown, a former public schoolboy and the grandson of the Dewhurst butchery tycoon Sir Derek Vestey, shares a £2.7m trust fund and draws an income estimated at £44,000 a year . He lives in a £200,000 flat in Notting Hill, west London. Much of his time is dedicated to working with environmental, alternative, and "social justice" groups such as Corporate Watch and Reclaim the Streets.
He denied he had "gesticulated" to the crowd last June as if directing them, but admitted wearing a costume to "blend in" with City types. The City of London magistrate Simon Morrison told Mr Brown: "We are satisfied that you contributed in part to the demonstration namely by supplying the stereo system. But there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that you organised the march on that day, so we therefore find you not guilty."
The court had been told that, in the weeks leading up to the demonstration, Mr Brown paid £1,000 for a sound system and £1,400 for a car used to transport the stereo during the protest. He was also alleged to have said that water pistols filled with ketchup could be used to stop CCTV cameras filming the event. It was claimed he told friends that the protest would "bite the City with a flower in its teeth".
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...
£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...
£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...